Asher Peterson is a self-made man, owner of the Electric Tunnel, Sin City’s hottest adult entertainment spot. Brazen and formidable in designer T-shirts and motorcycle boots, he seems unflappable whether he’s making his rounds through the decadent decor of the Tunnel, or whipping through the desert heat on his bike. But inside he is a shattered man, desperate to understand what unconditional love from a woman feels like. Hiding the effects of his emotionally stunted youth behind a gritty persona, and keeping his fractured soul buried deep while seeking out his baser instincts, Asher is convinced he is man enough to leave the past in the past.
The only clue to his broken soul is his deep-seated need to provide safety and a good life for emotionally damaged women within the glamorous walls of his strip club. Fooling himself that he deserves little in life, Asher keeps his big heart tightly guarded with everyone but Sienna Flower, his friend, business partner, and headliner. Until, that is, the night he runs into his childhood friend, Natalie Parker.
While trolling a rival strip club, perusing their offerings for his own personal pleasure, he collides with his past. Coming face-to-face with a woman he only knew as a girl, he’s shaken when he finds the dark-haired beauty in a precarious position. Now all grown up, she’s a hardened soul who reminds him of where he came from, and stirs within him the need to protect yet another woman. Known as
Nat to most everyone, Natalie is a single mom to Quinn. But when she’s under the bright spotlights in a thong, she’s known as Natasha or Nataleigh Dallas. A girl who once had everything going for her, she’s now a jaded stripper with only room for her son in her life, and has erected impenetrable barriers around her heart. The strength of those walls is challenged the night a man she has known since childhood steamrolls his way back into her life, flashing those smoky-gray eyes that have always melted her. A man she has loved from afar since she was a young girl, one who lights fire to her walls, burning deeper, setting everything ablaze––smoldering her.
Asher and Natalie, two people who are equally tormented by their own demons, set out to rescue each other as part-time lovers in a torrid, desperate workplace affair. Thinking they can remain friends while keeping their hearts at a safe distance, they find themselves at odds when their situation morphs into a messy, tangled mess. Ripping free of each other proves impossible as they learn that the very web that connects them goes much deeper than they ever expected.
This book, once I was done with it, I just could not stop thinking about it. And the title is so perfect…SMOLDERING HOT! This was the first book by Rachel that I read, and I hooked and went straight away to buy book 1 in this series. And although this book is part of a series, you can totally read it as a stand alone and not be lost.
Asher and Nat were a hot mess. Asher is all alpha and Nat is so stubborn – I wanted to reach thru the page and shake her a time or two. Having both grown up in the part of Vegas far from the lights of the strip, they were both determined to leave that world behind and make a new life away from their pasts. And even though Asher is still in Vegas, The Electric Tunnel is his ticket, making a name for himself. So when he runs into Natalie at another club and see the hard, broken girl, nothing like the friend from his childhood. He does what he always does – turns into the overbearing, over protective, savior to the women that occupy his life.
Five years later, Natalie has a better life, but she still is broken and Asher is at a lose at how to help her. Their sometimes love affair is starting to feel like more for both of them. Leaving both confused and not knowing where to go from here.
This book had me from the very beginning and I read it straight through. HIGHLY recommend this book and can’t wait for the next book in the series!
Do you have a special time to write? How is your day structured writing-wise?
I like to write mid-morning when it is quiet and I recently brewed a fresh pot of coffee. I don’t structure my writing day…when I sit to write and it starts flowing, I cancel everything I had originally set. Sad, but I can’t force it, so when it happens, it happens…and I reschedule. I also like to write a coffee shop. I stick on my head phones, but something about the people drifting in and out helps me?!?!? FUNNY Story – I was sitting in a coffee place and writing a weird scene and a friend walked in…and because I had my head phones on, I yelled, “Hey, so-and-so, what kind of drug can be mixed with coke to cause a blackout?” And, this woman putting cream in her coffee looked at me like I was crazy, and I responded with, “Oh no, not for me.” THIS is how real my characters become to me.
What is for you the perfect book hero?
I like bad boys. Really bad boys. Naughty, Dirty, Foul-Mouthed men who know their way around a bedroom and a KITCHEN! Except, preferably one who doesn’t cook bacon. I hate the smell of bacon. I don’t get how that is romantic to smell a pig cooking! HA. Just give me a cup of java and a donut, and get back in bed.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK you!!! For everything. I wish I could know each and everyone of you possibly and share a donut and coffee with all my readers.
Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.
Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel.
Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously. Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.